To the economist, West Virginia may be one of the most exciting regions of the United States. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, it is the third most prolific state in the Union in terms of energy production. The state produces twelve percent of the coal in the U.S., and is additionally a noted source of natural gas. The state’s economy appears to be growing, albeit slowly, in contrast to the nation’s, even in contrast to neighboring states.
The state is at the forefront of the national debate on healthcare, as challenging policies transform the way the state takes care of its citizens who depend on Medicaid. All of these complicated economic metrics lay the foundation for a promising career to Virginia students pursing graduate work in economics.
According to West Virginia’s Higher Education Policy Commission, the popularity of master’s-level economics degrees is growing considerably. For example, one state school reported conferring twice as many graduate-level economics degrees in 2011 than in 2010, displaying a trend of significant growth.
Currently, only two state institutions in West Virginia offer master’s programs in economics, so students here often opt to pursue graduate work online or at smaller private institutions located in the state.